I was one of the staff of the last small B&Ns (in Boston's western suburbs: Wellesley Square MA), closed in '86 so that the B&N superstore (in Framingham MA, 2 towns west) could be the micro-regional magnet while competing with a Borders directly across the street from it in a much bigger mall in a battle of booky riches. I wonder which of them has survived? .
People in Wellesley MA (a famous college-town) really loved what we did with that small B&N in Wellesley Sq, but to no corporate avail.
My next B&N store was an even smaller one in dead-center Copley Sq. Boston, also closed down in favor of the surviving downtown superstore just a few long city-blocks away, just beyond Boston Common.
My next store was a B. Dalton (Borders subsidiary, since renamed Borders Express) in Needham Heights MA, as beloved by their almost upscale suburban community as we were in posh nearby Wellesley Square MA;
It so-happened that I then moved cross-country to Santa Clara CA, & found myself working in a Borders in San Jose's ultra-posh Santana Row mall that absorbed the staff of the B. Dalton in the nearby Valley Fair Westfield Mall when it closed. (I live only a short bike-ride away.)
Same fatal phenom (on either coast): favor super as a strategy to survive, but (eventually) have to close anyway. Why? Amazon.com; if even I buy some obscure 2ndary-supplier books from them w/out guilt, why shouldn't you buy best-sellers? Besides, who can stop you?
If Amazon's hollowing-out the retail-staffed bookstore biz., imagine what e-books sold on the web can/will do! Nontheless, general used-book stores will still out-survive best-seller superstores: 'homey'-feeling stores have a unique appeal, esp.if they have a resident-cat & well-tended plant. cf. San Jose's Recycle Books west suburban branch in downtown Campbell CA, that I recently gave a large, healthy jade-plant to after shopping there for the (3) current South Beach Diet books (because my interventional-cardiologist says I should try it; I am.) Recycle Books got my very-specific diet-book biz., but they also may even buy some of your own used books to re-stock specific topical shelves, an habitual parsimony well-suited to a Recession.
Currently, I try to make the 2nd-Fri. 9am-9pm half-price sale at the large Salvation Army store in nearby West San Jose on S. Winchester Blvd. almost opp. EL TITANIC carneceria y groceria (I live on N. Winchester in bordering Santa Clara); because on that day only, $4 hardbound books sell for $2; I've gotten amazing (unusual, rare) cookbooks for myself & my friend Dr. Ginny, & I also U.S.P.S.-mail them to ex-speciality cake-baker Anne Buchanan up in Cole Valley S.F. I'm now way-cookbooked-up, so feel free to go look & buy at the Salvation Army in West San Jose. You won't often run into me there in the book-section on Half-price 2nd Fri.: I have too many books now, thanks to The Salvation Army...all my life.